Attack of the Cybermen part one is the first of the 45 minute episodes and packs a lot of stuff into its 45 minutes. The first half of the story has stuff in it that could have been in any eighties drama with a supposed diamond heist being planned and two workers mysteriously being killed in the sewers by an unseen force which is very different for Doctor Who and makes for an interesting beginning of the episode.
We even get the reappearance of Lytton from the previous year’s Dalek story and once again he is up to no good. Although quite why he is planning a diamond heist is not particularly clear at first in this episode and later on in the episode seems to have been forgotten about entirely, almost as though it was not very important at all and was mere scene setting to get people from one place to another, and a reason for the character of Russell being there as he was an undercover policeman on the lookout for Lytton who was a wanted man.
Russell was played by an unmasked Terry Malloy and was ok but was possible the worst undercover policeman ever as he totally stuck out like a sore thumb in the team of villains such as Lytton, Griffiths and Payne who were all a lot more realistic as the sort of villains who would shoot you first and ask questions later which wasn’t the impression that you got from Russell who would threaten to shoot you and then bottle it at the last minute.
Payne was just your typical muscle character who were ten a penny in seventies and eighties police dramas and as usual came to a sticky end as these characters often do and the same could be said for Brian Glover’s character but he got off much more lightly than poor old Payne did but that might be more for the fact that Brian Glover is a bit more famous than the bloke who played Payne which is why his character is still alive at the end of the episode then for anything else, or at least anything that I can think off.
The Doctor is as full of energy as he was in the last episode we saw him in but does seem to have calmed down a little compared to his post regeneration blues and only once calls Peri by another companions name, even though he had been calling her all different names including Jamie for some strange reason, perhaps it was the skirt she was wearing in the last story.
Peri’s costume in this story is a bit better than her last one and certainly more revealing but was totally impractical, particularly her heels. It was nice to see the TARDIS exterior change shape a couple of time in this episode with hilarious consequences and a comment that he wonders why he hadn’t repaired it before which is something that is often mentioned but never elaborated on beyond further than the fact that it got stuck when they were in London one day and so this act in this episode was just basically a bit of filler as they happened to land in the same Junkyard as featured in the very first episode and also for a cheap sight gag featuring the TARDIS in an even more incongruous shape than a police box.
That wasn’t the only previous reference to the show’s past either as when the Cyberman were shown to be wandering around the sewers, and therefore responsible for the deaths of the two men at the start of the episode, and also of the unfortunate Payne, it was discovered that they had a base on Telos last seen in Tomb of the Cyberman, and also featured the Cyber Controller, or the fat Cyber Controller as he appears in this episode also last seen in Tomb of the Cybermen and that is not including Lytton who we had only seen the previous year so this story.
Not that the appearance of the Cybermen was surprise given the title of the bloody episode. It really should have had a different title as then the Cyberman’s appearance would have been a surprise and then the story would have a bit more tension, as it could have been literally anyone wondering around the sewers, but it wasn’t to be.
Telos was equally as dusty and quarry like and uninhabitable as it had been when we had last seen but was now in full colour, not that it made a great deal of difference to be honest.
So far the Cybermen have a base on Telos, which must have been a long time before the events in Tomb where the Cybermen had been entombed for centuries and Lytton knows what they are up to.
Perhaps in the next episode we will find out what they are up to as well.